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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Peter: Accident or Suicide?

Worth reading all the way through.

NEW BRAUNFELS, Texas—Detective Juan Guerrero pulled back the yellow blanket that covered Brad Halsey, a 33-year-old former major league pitcher. He inspected the cold body found at the base of a 100-foot cliff on private property near the Guadalupe River, about 30 miles northeast of San Antonio.

No cuts or scratches. No sign of a struggle. No evidence of homicide, the detective concluded. Both legs looked broken, he noted, likely caused by the impact of a fall. Probably suicide, the detective said he thought early that Halloween afternoon.

Then Guerrero checked Halsey’s black Honda parked nearby. On the passenger’s seat he found a baseball glove, a baseball and a flier advertising pitching lessons Halsey was offering. No suicide note.

A week later, with an autopsy showing Halsey died from blunt force injuries, Guerrero told the captain of investigations at the Comal County Sheriff’s Office he thought Halsey likely died in an accidental fall. Yet the detective says he still wonders, and the case remains open pending the completion of a toxicology report. ...

Public records and interviews with former coaches, teammates and friends show Halsey was quiet, private, quirky, smart and witty. But his behavior changed as he tried to hang on to a fading baseball career and fell victim to prescription and recreational drug abuse.

Less than four months ago, police found Halsey walking chest-deep in the nearby Comal River and identifying himself as Lucifer. Officers had responded to a call about a man who fit Halsey’s description throwing rocks at people floating by on inner tubes and talking to people no one else could see.

Halsey said he was prepared to fight “Mitch,” but witnesses said they saw no other man. After Halsey exited the river and turned unruly, police put him in shackles and drove him to an area hospital for evaluation. The police report noted Halsey had mental problems due to drug use.

A few months earlier, according to two men who spent time with the former pitcher in the last months of his life, Halsey told them he had schizophrenia and bipolar disorder. The men also said Halsey made an outrageous statement, claiming he was on cocaine and other drugs when he gave up Bonds’ historic home run and had spent much of the $1 million he made during his baseball career on drugs.

JE (Jason) Posted: December 16, 2014 at 10:45 AM | 16 comment(s)
  Beats: drugs, mental health, suicide

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Imperfect Caminiti still terribly missed

They found Ken Caminiti 10 years ago this week, found him in a boarded-up, rat-infested hellhole in the decayed Hunts Point section of the Bronx, found him dead at 41, found him dead from a drug overdose, found him after he got busted by Houston cops a month earlier in Houston, found a legend finally put to God-awful rest by his demons.

I think about the former Padres third baseman every once in a while. Because I really liked him. Among all the athletes I’ve dealt with in my 43 years in this newspaper dodge, Cammy, much like the late Chuck Muncie, who fought similar malignant spirits, was among my favorites.

For guys like me, and those who loved him, he is missed.

Maybe because he was straight-up. There was something mischievous beneath that twinkle in his blue eyes. He was a matinee idol, a motorcycle mechanic by avocation, who parked his bike in the clubhouse. A father.

Ken had admitted he was an alcoholic, and heaven knows what else, long before his death, a mysterious demise only because of where it took place. There is an eternal unexplained reason as to what the hell he was doing in that New York cesspool on Oct. 10, 2004.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: October 07, 2014 at 10:36 AM | 26 comment(s)
  Beats: drugs, ken caminiti, padres

 

 

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